Interview with Peter Tägtgren
Why did you start this band and how did you come up with the name?
First of all, I wanted to develop and write a different kind of stuff, not only Death Metal or Black Metal, and, as a producer, I wanted to try different things, as you always have to learn, otherwise you get lost. So, basically, I just wanted to develop as a producer, and I felt the opportunity was right to do it with Pain, because everything is done by me, while I just sit for a while and go crazy with my ideas, so I don’t have to look around and ask anybody’s opinions: I do whatever I feel like and, if it’s good, it gets its space on the album, so there are no limits for that.
I called it Pain because my life was shit at the time; I was going through a divorce and there was just chaos around me, so Pain fitted very well.
What did inspire you to move towards a more urban and revolutionary trail, both musically and lyrically?
I wanted to keep it apart from everything else, as I didn’t want Hypocrisy to sound like Pain. It’s sort of difficult to explain this, as it was mainly something I had to do, really.
Musically, I’m inspired by everything: from Bach to Deicide, all sorts of stuff. For example, when I heard Ultra, from Depeche Mode, I was like “damn, that’s a really killer production!” I didn’t like the music in the first place but, as the production was so good, I started to enjoy the music, and it got better and better every day, so I also wanted to try something like that, but not with Hypocrisy. Lyrically, it’s just everyday life. If you meet assholes, or something like that, you end up writing about it, so if life’s good I think my head gets empty but, if I’m pissed, it’s much easier for me to write the lyrics.
What’s your vision as far aesthetics are concerned?
I was brought up on Kiss and that was all based on image. With Black Metal you also have something to see, it isn’t anything coming from the street that you pull up on stage, it’s something different that changes your shape. With Hypocrisy we never had anything like that, it was more like “get your pants on and just make your head spin”, so with Pain I guess it’s easier to create some kind of image, something visual. And, if you have a good image, it helps to make it truer.
What are your viewpoints on religion and what’s happening in the Middle East?
It’s fucking chaos. I mean, religion, in general, is all about fanaticism, it’s unbelievable; it’s always bad when innocent people get involved with it, like with that incident on the World Trade Center last year.
By entitling the album as Nothing Remains the Same, are you addressing hope?
The album before was very successful in Sweden, Germany and stuff, so I didn’t know if that was going to happen again – not to mention that the music is a little bit different this time and it was like “nothing remains the same.” Maybe people like it, maybe people don’t, but the most important thing, for me, is that I was really happy with the album. You can also twist it around and have your own interpretation of it, because it’s very universal in essence too.
What are your thoughts on terror, fear, past/present/future, technology, murder and society?
Past, present and future: Unknown.
Technology: Sometimes good.
Murder: Depends who.
How much did you change as a person, and, consequently, as a musician, since you’ve become a father and a husband? Might Pain be perceived as a result of a consequent introspection?
No, not really, but I definitely became more aware of Life in general. I mean, before I had a kid I wouldn’t give a shit if I would die or not, but now I feel I want to grow old with him, that’s my biggest goal. To have a child definitely opened my eyes. But Pain isn’t a direct result from that, because I just try to do what I always do and that’s writing music as good as possible.
Terrorizer once wrote that you could be seen as the new Euronymous. How do you see yourself under that light and what are your thoughts about everything you’ve accomplished so far, both as producer and engineer?
I guess that quote was a bit over the top (smiles), but I’m very happy to be able to record these fucking killer bands. 99% of all the bands I worked with are also very cool people and we’re still friends these days, so it’s been a really great thing. I can also say that the new Marduk album is going to be very good, much better than the last two, I think; we recorded it for two weeks, before I went on this tour, and then we’re going to finish it up for two more weeks when I get home. From now on I’m only going to produce one or two bands a year, and the only two that I still want to work with in the future are Marduk and Immortal, because we’re very good friends; they don’t want to go anywhere else and I don’t want them to go anywhere else either. I also sort of closed down the studio because it started feeling like it was becoming another Morrisound or Sunlight and I didn’t want to be a part of that; plus I wanted to catch up for the ten years we didn’t tour, and that helps to get more exclusivity to the studio as well.
What is Music for you?
Everything, that’s all I know.